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thanks so much for watching. and remember, you can't take it with you. >> a brilliant young architect designs this gem... >> tony! oh, my gosh, look at all this light! >> ...long before he's a legend of design. >> pietro belluschi. innovative architectural designs. they evoke the grandeur of this land. >> his kid becomes an architect, too. >> i didn't want to be "the son of." >> it's a blessing and a curse. >> and that's what i went through for 40 years. >> will he let his father's masterpiece face the wrecking ball? >> did your heart stop? >> absolutely, my heart stopped. >> or breathe new life into it after he's gone? >> before your dad died, did he tell you he was proud of you? [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ]
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[ bird caws ] >> i'm jamie colby, and today i'm headed into portland, oregon. i'm meeting a man whose strange inheritance is not a family heirloom found in an attic, but an entire house, a house that perfectly frames an age-old problem -- how does a son follow in his father's footsteps and still escape his shadow? >> my name is tony belluschi. i'm an architect, like my father pietro. this house is among the many things he designed in his illustrious career. i only figured out what it meant to both of us long after he was gone. >> tony's asked me to meet him here in downtown portland. >> hi, jamie. how are you? >> i usually meet people in their homes. why have you brought me here? >> i'd like to show you a building my father designed. >> that building is the 12-story equitable, one of america's first glass box towers,
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built back in 1948. >> it became one of the most iconic buildings not only in portland, but in the country. >> tony's father pietro would go on to design and work on hundreds of landmark buildings, including new york's pan am building, the bank of america tower, and st. mary's cathedral in san francisco, new york's juilliard school of music, and the zion lutheran church here in portland. and like so many american success stories, this one begins with an immigrant determined to make the big time. a native of rome, pietro belluschi arrives in portland in 1925. three years later, at age 28, he's already the chief designer at the a.e. doyle architecture firm. >> he of course would work for 15 hours a day in order to prove himself. and he just kept getting raised and raised and raised.
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>> in the late 1930s, pietro begins designing homes around portland featuring locally sourced materials, such as spruce, fir, cedar, and stone. his twist on regional modern architecture -- structures that harmonize with their natural settings -- is instantly acclaimed. >> i was very much impressed by the woods and the wildness of the surroundings. >> he became almost like a pioneer that knew more about the local materials than the people who were there and took them for granted. >> in 1948, the same year pietro finishes the equitable building, he completes this house in portland for the well-to-do burkes family. >> how innovative was that design for the time architecturally? >> very innovative. the combination of the use of woods, the overhangs, woven wood ceilings,
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cork floors, large floor-to-ceiling windows -- he was applauded in many magazines, including ones from italy. >> pietro considers the home his favorite residential work. soon enough, the talented architect, now a husband and father of two sons, is on the map. in 1951, m.i.t. in cambridge, massachusetts, appoints him its dean of architecture. around the same time, he begins grooming tony in the craft. >> he was my mentor, and therefore i got to know his architectural vocabulary and philosophy better than anyone. >> pietro retires from m.i.t. in 1965, but he's still in demand. boston's one financial center, the meyerhoff symphony hall in baltimore, and many more.
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>> he became an international celebrity. >> do you remember feeling that your dad was special? >> i kind of picked that up when i was in college, and he was the commencement speaker. and i said, "whoa." >> it's a blessing and a curse. >> and that's what i went through for 40 years. >> and therein lie tony's mixed emotions over his strange inheritance. he becomes destined to receive it when his father, probably sitting at his boston drafting table, gets a long-distance call from portland. it's mrs. burkes, owner of that home he'd designed 25 years ago and never forgot. the widow tells pietro she's putting it up for sale. >> he flew out and agreed to buy it on that spot. >> that's how much it meant to him. >> absolutely. >> it's 1973 when pietro and his second wife, marjorie, return to his beloved oregon
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to live in the house he designed as a young man. but his son tony, who's just starting his own architecture career, wants nothing to do with it or portland. >> i said, "i need my own space, and i don't want to be within a thousand-mile radius of my father and his practice. >> why not just ride his coattails? >> because i had to make it on my own first. i wanted to earn it myself. i didn't want to be "the son of." >> in portland or boston, he's pietro's kid, so tony settles in chicago. with the last name belluschi, in the second city he's more likely to be confused with this guy than his own father. over time, tony builds up an impressive portfolio -- cleveland's galleria at erieview in 1987, and the american airlines terminal at o'hare airport in 1988. >> did you eventually establish yourself separate and apart from your dad's legacy
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and reputation? >> that's, uh, been a lifelong pursuit of mine. >> but the son will soon come to think about his famous dad in a new light. >> for once, i was able to make the decisions without his input. >> and a father finally reveals his true feelings to his son. >> how'd it make you feel? >> um, sad, because he couldn't say that in person. >> a lot of dads can't. >> i understand. >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. in addition to being an architect, frank lloyd wright was also well known in what other field? was it... the answer when we return. i'm definitely able to see savings
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[bassist] two late nights in blew an amp.but good nights. sure,music's why we do this,but it's still our business. we spend days booking gigs, then we've gotta put in the miles to get there. but it's not without its perks. like seeing our album sales go through the roof enough to finally start paying meg's little brother- i mean,our new tour manager-with real,actual money. we run on quickbooks.that's how we own it.
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[ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] >> so... it's "a." wright was a very active japanese art dealer. during the great depression, he made more money from the art trade than he did as an architect. >> in the early 1990s, architect tony belluschi is still trying to avoid being eclipsed by the shadow of his father, internationally famed architect pietro belluschi. >> i see a lot of things full of meaning and full of poetry. >> pietro considers his finest residential accomplishment to be
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here in portland, a home he designed in the '40s, purchased in the '70s, and cherished ever since. >> he loved the house. >> loved the house. absolutely, he did. >> and over the years, pietro and his son tony often discuss renovating it. >> he and i sat down and actually did some drawings together about how to add a second level onto this house. >> but the father/son project never materializes. son tony is too busy in chicago, expanding his portfolio, while pietro continues to receive high praise for his work, even into his 90s, including a national medal of the arts, bestowed by president george h.w. bush in 1991. >> pietro belluschi. innovative architectural designs. they evoke the grandeur of this land, particularly the pacific northwest. [ applause ]
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>> in 1994, pietro passes away at the age of 94. his life's work includes over 1,000 buildings. his widow, second wife marjorie, tony's stepmom, continues to live in the architectural masterpiece in portland. but by the early 2000s, the home has fallen into considerable disrepair. that woven wood ceiling in the bedroom is coming apart. the roof is leaking. it's a mess. marjorie begs tony to come back to portland and fix it up. but portland, and being compared to his father, is exactly what tony has avoided for his entire adult life. >> i was always of the theory that you can never go home. >> tony agrees to fix the roof, but focuses mostly on his career, adding to his
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impressive list of designs, in chicago and around the globe -- france, turkey, saudi arabia. after marjorie dies in 2009, tony and his brother peter inherit the house that meant so much to their father. but what to do with the old, neglected home? the brothers bring in some real estate agents for a market evaluation. >> were going through the house with several realtors, and one of them kind of said to me in a low tone, "you know, this house is a possible tear-down." >> did your heart stop? >> absolutely, my heart stopped. i looked at her in total disbelief, and in that moment i said, "over my dead body." >> you weren't gonna let it happen. >> absolutely not. >> so tony buys out his brother and dedicates himself to restoring their father's cherished home to its former glory. >> was it that special?
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>> it was that special. and that's when i said, i must commit to it. >> but once word gets out, tony feels some unexpected heat. you might think local preservation types would rejoice that pietro belluschi's very own son was coming to the rescue of his work. not exactly. peggy moretti is executive director of restore oregon. >> there are a million things that can get mucked up when you tackle a historic renovation. you always worry about, good intentions don't always translate very well. >> tony's intention is to come up with a design that honors his late father but satisfies his own creative vision. it calls for some spiritual collaboration. >> i channeled him the entire time i was working on the house. what do i do, and what would he do? >> but guess what? after consulting with his father's spirit, tony recognizes who's boss.
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>> and we had a meeting of the minds and did whatever i felt was the right -- for once, i was able to make the decisions without his input. >> by the spring of 2010, the restoration is in full swing. it's an exhausting process for both tony and his wife, marti. >> we lived and commuted from chicago. every two weeks i flew out here for two weeks and went back to chicago. >> in september 2012, after two long years and $935,000, the work is finally complete. >> i've put so much of my blood, sweat and tears into this house, probably more than he did to build the original house for the original client. >> coming up... >> oh, my gosh, look at all this light. >> i take the grand tour. and tony's career takes an unplanned turn. >> here's another quiz question for you. built in 1902, macy's flagship store in new york was the first
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building with what architectural feature? the answer in a moment. sure, tv has evolved over the years.
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it's gotten squarer. brighter.
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bigger. it's gotten thinner. even curvier. but what's next? for all binge watchers. movie geeks. sports freaks. x1 from xfinity will change the way you experience tv. [ wind howls ] >> so, macy's flagship store in new york was the first building with what architectural feature? it's "b," the escalator. and some of the old wooden ones are still in use. >> lots of kids inherit their parents' home, but architect tony belluschi doesn't just get dad's house. he gets a broken-down monument to northwest design built by his legendary father. by 2013, tony's restoration of pietro belluschi's
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masterpiece is complete. >> every single square inch of this house has been refreshed, restored, or added onto. >> tony expands the home by more than 700 square feet, adding a bedroom, garage, art gallery, and he replaces his father's shed with a new guesthouse. but god is in the details. and today, i get to see the final product. >> oh, my goodness, this is a kitchen i could make magic in. >> well, this is a completely reborn kitchen. everything had to go. the original one from the '40s ended right here, was only this little alcove here. >> and of course tony rehabs that woven wood ceiling in the master bedroom. >> no way! that's real wood? >> this is real wood. >> [ gasps ] >> it's made up of cedar, spruce, and hemlock, and it was woven together
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very carefully in place. >> i want this. >> tony's updates dovetail with the timeless elements conceived by his father 65 years before. >> the fireplace is magnificent. >> this was part of the original design. it's the same stone my father used from this stone wall out here, and so he tied the outdoors to the indoors. >> it's so beautifully done. well, it looks to me like you own portland. this is some view. >> this is why we call this the magic place. you never get tired of looking at this. >> i wouldn't. what would your dad say if he saw this place today? >> he would like it a lot better than the way it was when i inherited it. >> really? >> i don't know anybody who doesn't love this house. >> count peggy moretti among local preservationists no longer worried about what tony might do to his dad's house. >> pietro left a mark here
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in the northwest. he's a very special legacy, and tony added his own mark on the place in a perfect kind of way. >> her group even honors tony with an award for restoration excellence. >> how proud are you to own this house? >> well, it's a dream come true in many respects. >> it's a gift to see it. >> well, thank you. >> so that's the end of my tour and of tony's "strange inheritance" story, right? not so fast. for tony, as it turns out, this was just the beginning. >> i didn't plan to do this. i wanted to have my own quiet life. >> next, the surprising twist tony never saw coming. >> what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website...
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[ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] >> now back to "strange inheritance." >> for years, tony belluschi
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commutes from his chicago home to portland to renovate his strange inheritance, this beloved architectural gem designed by his father, pietro. he ends up in a good place, the one he never expected. >> i've sold my practice in chicago, i've moved here. >> you think you'll ever decide, "i made a mistake"? >> absolutely 110% no. this, all of a sudden, is not my father's house. it's our house. and to me, it's something that has become part of us. we don't want to sell it, and it's not going to be on the market as long as i'm breathing air. >> he won't likely be hurting for work anytime soon. turns out the owners of other homes his dad designed are now calling him. >> it's very, very important to sort of protect the legacy and the stewardship of these homes. >> beginning with aric wood,
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who lives in the first house tony's father ever designed, back in the late 1930s. this one, too, falls into disrepair. >> we restored it to the new, just like it was in 1938. >> tony really was able to channel his father's thinking about the house. i wake up every morning just amazed at the solace of the place. >> the phone doesn't stop ringing. >> people come to me thinking maybe i can help them with their project, help them restore a house. i didn't plan to do this coming back to portland. i wanted to have my own quiet life. but it doesn't exist here. >> what's the next step? where do you go from here? >> now our big project is the pietro belluschi resource center. we hope it'll become a place where people will come to portland to study pacific northwest mid-century modern. >> that is a real, professional way of further enhancing
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the legacy of my father. >> such a paradox, this "strange inheritance" tale. an architect, the son of one of the profession's dazzling stars, keeps far away from the long shadows his father cast. for only once he makes his own name can he turn to what may be his life's most rewarding work -- preserving the legacy of the legend now departed. >> before your dad died, did he tell you he was proud of you? >> he did. in fact, i have a letter he wrote. he expressed himself in writing a way he couldn't in words. "dear tony, i don't think i've ever told you how proud i am of you, how pleased of your obvious qualities of spiritual awareness, of your sensitive attitude towards people. your loving father."
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>> how'd it make you feel? >> very happy. very fulfilling. um, sad because he couldn't say that in person. >> a lot of dads can't. >> i understand. but i also loved him and understood him. the older i got, the more i realized how valuable a mentor he was to my life. >> pietro once declined to build in a wooded area near m.i.t. called the pines. asked why, he replied, "we could never design a building as beautiful as the trees." that inspired the tribute tony designed for his dad after he died -- this bench along a trail not far from the house that became tony's strange inheritance. check out the plaque. "we never could design a building as beautiful as the trees." i'm jamie colby.
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thanks for watching "strange inheritance." and remember, you can't take it with you. >> he was the man who had everything... >> this has about 750 to 800 horsepower. >> ...but never enough of these. >> he told me he was bringing in about one tank a week. >> i imagine a small country could win a war with these. >> yeah, i hear that a lot. >> my dad started a tradition of getting an old, beat-up car, and then he would crush it with a tank in the field out here. >> his death puts his heirs on a mission. >> is this what your dad would want? >> you push up on that. >> start. [ engine turns over ] >> just like that, she comes to life. >> and talk about sticker-shock and awe. >> was the auction a nail-biter? >> you bet it was. >> $300,000. $350,000. sold. ♪
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>> i'm jamie colby, and, today, i'm driving up a long, steep hill in portola valley, california, near san francisco. i'm here to visit the heirs of a man who made the record books with his incredibly strange collection. and if i'm lucky, i may even get to ditch this s.u.v. and take the controls of a serious off-road ride. >> my name is allison littlefield. these are my half brothers, david and scott. >> when our father died, in 2009, we inherited 240 armored military vehicles. >> lots and lots of tanks. >> hi, allison. i'm jamie. >> hi. nice to meet you. >> thanks for having me up. this is a magnificent ranch. the ranch is very nice, but i'm here to see something else. >> come this way. >> these are real? >> these are real. >> this is one of several buildings on the littlefield
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ranch where they garage their strange inheritance. some guys collect stamps and coins. their dad, jacques littlefield, collected tanks. in fact, what you see here is part of the world's largest private collection of armored vehicles. allison tells me some of these tanks are incredibly rare, including this world war ii german panzer iv... this 8-ton half track... and this sherman tank. what a collection. >> it is a real preservation of history, and that's what i'm so excited about. >> so, how did all of this get started? well, jacques littlefield is born in 1949, the son of edmund wattis littlefield, heir to a prosperous mining and land-development company called utah construction. at an early age, jacques develops a strong interest in all things mechanical. >> this is him as a young boy, playing with his model train
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set. >> he looks almost like he could be in an ad for trains. >> i know. it's such a sweet picture. [ gunfire ] >> in the late '60s, the vietnam war is raging, but jacques is never drafted, due to hearing loss from a childhood bout with encephalitis. he attends stanford university. after majoring in economics, he goes to b-school, then takes a job at hewlett-packard. that's where the 23-year old littlefield meets his new boss, bill boller, who becomes a lifelong friend. he shares with bill his latest passion -- tanks. where did it begin? >> he checked a book out of the library called "american tanks and tank destroyers." and that book attracted his attention so much that he said it all started there. >> jacques' first military purchase -- in 1976, for $3,500 -- is this m3a1 world war ii wheeled scout car, which saw combat both in north africa and the invasion of
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sicily. i find it ironic that he collected tanks even when people were anti-war. would he have shown up at a protest? >> jacques was conservative in his politics, so no. he would definitely not have shown up at a protest and probably would have pretty much ignored it. >> 1976 is also the year jacques' father sells the family business empire to general electric, in what was then the biggest merger in u.s. history. his dad's now a billionaire, and son jacques leaves h-p to manage his personal fortune. he takes up residence here, at pony tracks ranch, gets married, and starts a family. scott, what do you remember most about your dad? >> building stuff. we used to go to the woodshop and make things there. i'd have birthday parties, and we'd get to go around on a sherman tank. >> one of my favorite events was our 4th of july party. [ all cheering ] my dad started a tradition of getting an old, beat-up car, and then he would crush it with a
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tank in the field out here. >> [ laughs ] >> a truly successful army is one that will not be called upon to fight, for no one will dare to provoke it. >> the timing of jacques' interest in tanks is perfect. with the u.s. military expanding under president reagan, the pentagon is getting rid of a lot of outdated equipment. jacques snatches up a few tanks and then a few more, including this m5a1 stuart tank, built by cadillac back in 1943, a model used in the invasion of normandy. jacques buys it for $20,000. the end of the cold war and then the first gulf war lead to more tank-buying opportunities. jacques pounces. sherman tanks... this m1917 "6-ton tractor"... a russian t-72 used by saddam hussein's forces...
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even a scud missile launcher. jacques builds these barns to house them all. >> this is him working at the tank-restoration shop here on property. he was very involved in the process. he really enjoyed it. >> so it's a professional operation. >> oh, yeah. i mean, he had a great team of people who would rebuild these things down to the nuts and bolts. >> i remember i was in ukraine and i saw a tv show starring my dad. >> this has about 750 to 800 horsepower. >> it was a strange experience. >> in 1999, at the age of 50, jacques is staggered by a colon-cancer diagnosis and goes into treatment. >> i was in a bit of shock when i first found out. >> did he tell you or did he hide it to himself? >> he was very good at hiding it. >> he always had a really positive attitude. >> and a life's-too-short outlook that, as his cancer goes into remission, sends his
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tank-buying into overdrive. >> he told me he was bringing in about one tank a week. >> do you have any idea how much money he spent? >> [ laughs ] >> a lot. >> yeah. i prefer not to think about it sometimes, but, yeah, definitely, it was his passion. >> coming up, the tank -- and the challenge -- jacques littlefield was most passionate about. plus, it's my turn at the controls. okay, i'm up. how do i get in? >> any way you can get down in there is fair game. >> but, first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. how did these armored vehicles become known as "tanks"? the answer in a moment. [ male announcer ] some come here
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to build something smarter. ♪ some come here to build something stronger.
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others come to build something faster... something safer... something greener. something the whole world can share. people come to boeing to do many different things. but it's always about the very thing we do best. ♪ >> the answer is "c." during world war i, the british coined the term as a code name to keep their development a secret. >> i try not to have too many duplicates of what other collections would have lots of. >> in the early 2000s, jacques littlefield, the world's foremost armored-vehicle collector, seems to be beating colon cancer. the fight lays him low, physically, but it only revs up
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his passion for tanks and more tanks. he asks his dear friend bill boller to help restore them. >> he told me he was bringing in about one tank a week, every week for the last several years. >> by 2007, jacques' shopping spree gets him into the guinness book of world records for the largest private collection of armored vehicles, with 229 of them. only a year later, he has 240. but his cancer returns with a vengeance, and in january 2009, he tells bill he's just hoping to finish one thing before he dies -- the ongoing restoration of a super-rare german panzer v panther. jacques considers it his greatest find. >> the story, as we understand it, was -- it had to retreat, and on its way through poland, it attempted to cross a frozen river. and the tank broke through the ice and fell to the bottom. it sat under this river for about 50 years.
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>> it's not in good condition. >> this particular restoration started off looking worse than this turret right here. it was remanufactured here in its entirety. >> just in time for a fast-fading jacques littlefield. >> we had a discussion about it, and although the turret had not been put on it, he smiled and he said, "i'm satisfied". >> look at it now. how long does this take? >> the total restoration took seven years. it's one of only two that are really restored to this degree. >> how much did he pay for it? >> this is a fairly valuable tank. there are multiple millions of dollars in it. >> on january 7, 2009, just days after he tells bill boller he's satisfied, jacques littlefield passes away at the age of 59. [ bagpipes playing ] >> there was a procession, and the coffin was carried on the back of a tank.
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>> the mechanics he'd been working with thought that would be a fitting way to send him off. >> jacques wills the entire tank collection to his children. >> it was really scary to lose him so young. i turned 20 a month before he passed away, and it kind of went from being in college to having to take on a lot of responsibility very quickly. >> so, what do you do when you've inherited a collection of 240 armored vehicles? in keeping with jacques' wishes, there's a trust for the tanks, controlled by allison and her half brothers, but no instructions on what to do with them. >> he never left me with any sort of message regarding the tanks, specifically. >> so the siblings call jacques' friend bill boller back to active duty. he'll lead the littlefield heirs through the quagmire ahead. >> the objective was to find a long-term solution. >> in the short term, i'm wondering what it's like to
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drive one of these things. >> why don't you climb up and get in the driver's seat? >> right on cue. bill says it's an m551 sheridan, one of jacques' favorites. okay, i'm up. how do i get in? >> any way you can get down in there is fair game. >> i can always get new knees, i suppose. >> [ laughs ] >> if you look on the floor, you'll see there's a great, big single brake in the center. >> got it -- brake. >> and there's a foot throttle on the right. >> probably no texting at this time. >> probably not a good idea. >> okay. >> we're not gonna turn on anything else other than, now, the starter, which is the next lever over. you push up on that. >> start. [ engine turns over ] >> just like that, she comes to life. >> oh, my gosh. >> okay. so... >> are you belted in? >> i've got a great, big handle i can hang on to here, and if i get in trouble, i'll just jump. put your other foot on the accelerator and let the brake off, and we're out of here. go for it. ♪ pull hard as you can.
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pull real hard. give it lots of gas. [ tracks screech ] right there is just fine. >> i think that's good. [ engine shuts off ] oh. enjoyed it so much. i can't wait to do it again. [ laughs ] can i come back tomorrow? >> well, we've got 80 more that you've got to try. they're all different. >> i should test-drive them before i make a decision. >> [ laughing ] yeah. >> after their father's death, the littlefield heirs retain a skeleton crew of mechanics, just to keep all those tanks in good shape. did you ever say to yourselves, "let's just sell it"? >> no. >> i was hoping that we could maybe keep the collection somewhere locally, but after all those options were explored, there wasn't any way we could keep the collection together
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here. >> then, in 2013, a visitor from the east drops in. rob collings represents a well-to-do family in massachusetts that's devoted to military history. >> let's go for a flight. >> he tours the country with world war ii planes, like this b-17 flying fortress. collings is looking to maybe buy a tank or two, when bill boller takes the conversation to a whole new level. >> bill said, "you know, i don't want to sell you a tank." i thought to myself, "what did i say?" he goes, "i want you to have the whole collection." >> in short order, the two men draw up a plan to create a jacques littlefield tank exhibit in massachusetts. >> we would grant all the assets to them, and they would take the responsibility to provide the plans for a building, the land for a building. >> but just because you're willing to give away a fleet of tanks doesn't mean you can just hand over the keys and be done with it. is a family that inherits
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something this vast responsible for also raising the finances to do it? >> i don't know of any museum, even those that are well-funded, that would volunteer and come in and take on this type of a responsibility. >> for this entire scheme to work, the littlefields must accept an arrangement to raise a certain amount of money. did you know what that number was? >> yes. >> and it's a big chunk of change. can they do it? >> sold. >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. this german personnel carrier from jacques littlefield's collection was driven by lee marvin in the world war ii classic film "the dirty dozen." what's this model of half-track called? is it a... i'm definitely able to see savings
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>> so, what's this 12-ton vehicle used in the world war ii classic "the dirty dozen" called? it's "a," a prime mover. lee marvin drives it, playing an insubordinate officer on a top secret mission to assassinate a group of nazi generals. >> it's july of 2014, and the littlefield family is nervous. they've agreed to donate their strange inheritance -- the largest private collection of armored vehicles in the world -- for a new museum to be built by the collings foundation, in massachusetts. the foundation cannot house all 240 tanks in the museum, just the cream of the crop. >> we had a methodology going into this of what vehicles we wanted to present, and that boiled down to 85 tanks. >> they're jacques littlefield's
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greatest treasures. they include the personnel carrier used in "the dirty dozen" and the german panzer v panther tank that jacques littlefield finished restoring right before he died. littlefield's kids wish collings didn't have to split up their dad's collection but know some must be sacrificed to fund a permanent home for the rest. and museums cost a lot of money. so, along with bill boller, they gear up for a barn-burner of an auction on their ranch outside san francisco. it's not easy to put a collection together and have the funds to open up a museum. did you know what that number was going into the auction? >> yes -- around $10 million. >> $10 million dollars, and failure's not an option. if the numbers fall short, some of their father's most prized vehicles that they dearly want in his namesake exhibit must go. >> we picked out five very, very
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rare vehicles and we put a high premium on those. >> valued at several hundred thousand dollars each, the five include this sherman tank, the last of its kind... a german 8-ton half-track, just as coveted as the 12-ton used in "the dirty dozen"... an american amphibious assault vehicle... a german panzer iv... and this jumbo sherman, one of just eight in the world. what was that day like? >> i don't even know how to describe it. it was a little bit nerve-racking, like, "oh, are we gonna raise the amount of money that we need?" [ auctioneer calling ] >> the auction seems to get off to a strong start. this 2s7 self-propelled gun fetches $92,000. this humber armored car -- $97,000. amphibious tank -- $172,500. grant tank -- 276k. stuart tank -- 310k.
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and that scud missile launcher goes for $345,000. they're north of a million, heading toward 2, but still a long way from 10. will they have to sell any of those rare tanks to reach their objective? >> that was the million-dollar question. >> the answer next. what's your strange inheritance story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website,
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>> now the conclusion of "strange inheritance." >> for all their lives, the children of jacques littlefield watch their dad collect tanks, tinker with them, and deploy them in the coolest birthday-party entertainment ever. after he dies, they decide to share their strange inheritance with the world. what's it gonna be like to go into the structure and not see tanks anymore? >> i don't know if it's so much
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as seeing tanks as it's the smell of the diesel and the grease that i really love. >> $200,000 to start the bidding. $200,000. >> having agreed to donate the collection to the collings foundation, allison and her half brothers must watch some of their dad's tanks be auctioned off in order to raise $10 million to erect a museum in his honor. [ auctioneer calling ] but as the auction nears the end, it appears receipts are still short of that target. at least one of five super-rare tanks the littlefields fervently hoped to see in the museum may have to be sold, but which one? >> sold. >> the bidders get to choose. only one of the five tanks attracts a bid above the confidential reserve. it's the 8-ton german half-track, a hot ticket from world war ii. and it goes for $1.2 million. the auction passes the $10 million mark. for the littlefields, it's mission accomplished.
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is this what your dad would want? are you convinced? >> i think this is definitely the best option that we have available to keep the core collection together and have his name attached to it. >> when we are through with the collings museum, this will arguably be the finest collection of its sort anywhere. >> and it'll be the littlefield collection. >> it'll be the littlefield collection. remember how we told you about jacques littlefield's july 4th tradition, when he would haul out an m60 patton tank and stage a fight between the tank and a civilian car? it's so much fun, we thought you might like to see another of jacques confrontations. [ all cheering ] >> [ laughs ] >> all right in your own backyard. what a dad. i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance."
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thanks so much for watching. and remember, you can't take it with you. r time life's video collection. (doorbell chiming) oh, hey, hi, dean. hey, hi there, uh... bob. (narrator) from the battlefield to the white house, from hollywood to the heartland, america's entertainer was bob hope. oh, this room, it's so dull and depressing tonight. if only there was some way to brighten it. oh, of course. (laughter) (narrator) he was a true patriot. (bob hope) this has been a great trip. we've been to england, to germany, then to crete,


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